J.KJ.K. Rowling’s Top Tricks for Working Magic With Your Writing


1. Believe in Magic. Okay, not literally (at least, unless you do). But this tip is just about believing in yourself as a writer, the content you create, and your ability to keep going. Take it from J.K.: she had always wanted to be a writer, and she kept inventing stories until people read them (and boy, did they read them). To make it as a writer, you have to believe you’ve got the magic it takes to make words come alive on the page. It all started out as a dream for J.K. Rowling, too. Hear the world-renowned author talk about her pie-in-the-sky idea of becoming a writer.
2. Treat writing like it’s your job. This is true whether writing is, in fact, your job, or whether you just want it to be. Treating it like a job means setting aside time to finish what you need to do. Some authors give themselves strict daily word limits (Mark Twain averaged right around 1,800). J.K. hasn’t talked about giving herself a word limit, but she has made it clear that she puts in her time. Since she hit the big time with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone, in the American edition) and managed to make it her full-time gig, she’s careful to put in her eight hours a day—even if that sometimes means working through the night. But before that, when she was a single mom on social assistance, sometimes it was all she could do to snatch a spare moment to scribble a stray idea.


Tower of london

When William the Conqueror built a mighty stone tower at the centre of his London fortress in the 1070s, defeated Londoners must have looked on in awe. Now nearly 1000 years later, the Tower still has the capacity to fascinate and horrify.


As protector of the Crown Jewels, home of the Yeomen Warders and its legendary guardians, the pampered ravens, the Tower now attracts over three million visitors a year. Here, the Ceremony of the Keys and other traditions live on, as do the ghost stories and terrible tales of torture and execution.


Plural Nouns: Rules and Examples

Most singular nouns are made plural by simply putting an -s at the end. There are many different rules regarding pluralization depending on what letter a noun ends in. Irregular nouns do not follow plural noun rules, so they must be memorized or looked up in the dictionary.

Plural Noun Rules

There are many plural noun rules, and because we use nouns so frequently when writing, it’s important to know all of them! The correct spelling usually depends on what letter the singular noun ends in.


2 Surprising Places We Got Phrases About Food

2 Surprising Places We Got Phrases About Food

Today we’re going to talk about idioms that come from foods. We’ll take a peek into history, traveling all the way back to ancient Rome. Some of these foods may be more appetizing than others: We cover everything from cake to liver.

  • take it with a grain of salt
  • in a nutshell

1. Take it with a Grain of Salt

Our first food idiom is to take it with a grain of salt, which means to accept something but to be somewhat skeptical of the information. [1] For example, if you’re unsure about a relative’s knowledge of the stock market, you might say, “I took his financial advice with a grain of salt.” 

We all know that salt improves the taste of food, but perhaps you don’t know that the expression to take it with a grain of salt originated with a recipe for an antidote to poison. [2] Ancient Roman author Pliny the Elder, who lived from 23 to 79 AD, [3] wrote an encyclopedic work titled Natural History in the year 77. He tells the story of a Roman general, Pompey, who encountered a ruler named Mithridates VI. [4] This king was famous for building up his immunity to poison, and Pliny reports on the king’s recipe for his antidote. The last line of this recipe read, “to be taken fasting, plus a grain of salt.” [2] Pliny probably didn’t intend for readers to doubt this recipe; he likely meant that salt actually was added to the other ingredients. [2] When the expression to take it with a grain of salt came to be used, starting in the 17th century, [1] individuals at that time probably misunderstood what Pliny had written. [4] They thought that adding salt to something would make it easier to swallow.

2. In a Nutshell

We also have Pliny to thank for our next food-related idiom: in a nutshell. This cliché means “in a few words” and has been used since the 1570s. [5] Just now, we learned that an old antidote to poison literally involved a grain of salt. Surprisingly, in a nutshell literally involves something tiny in a real nutshell. Well, maybe. In Natural History, Pliny writes that he had heard about a version of Homer’s The Iliad being written in such small letters that the whole book could fit inside a nutshell. This story seems unlikely because in Homer’s day, writing was done with a stylus on clay tablets. [6] And, of course, The Iliad is a long book! Pliny’s anecdote might have been forgotten except that someone named Philemon Holland translated Natural History into English in 1601. Holland noted, skeptically, that “The same writer maketh mention of one who could see to the distance of 135 miles.” [6] Nevertheless, the association between compactness and nutshells stuck, and Shakespeare uses language to that effect in Hamlet. [6]

In a nutshell,

when it comes to what Pliny wrote, it sounds as if we should take much of it with a grain of salt.